A high school diploma is the minimum educational requirement for being a travel agent. If you are interested in pursuing a career as a travel agent, make sure you have computer courses in your study schedule.
Most of a travel agent’s work involves computerized reservation systems for booking flights, cruises, hotels, car rentals etc.
Being able to communicate yourself clearly with clients is crucial to this job and any high school course that enhances communication skills is a good choice. Proficiency in any foreign language, while not a requirement, can be helpful in many cases especially if you are dealing with international travelers.
Specialized Travel Agent Courses
Many travel agencies hire individuals with an education specializing in tourism or any travel related field. Candidates can benefit from finishing full time travel agent training programs from community colleges or vocational schools. There are also adult classes that are more flexible to suit busy schedules, with courses available in the traditional classroom settings and through the Internet.
The ideal travel agent training program includes courses on sales, marketing and geography. Specialized programs may also include courses about ticketing & reservations, travel agent administration, and procedures involved in the travel business.
Organizations like the International Airline Travel Agent Network or IATAN offer certification programs to interested travel agent professionals.
Earning the IATAN accreditation provides travel agents with international recognition of their skills and knowledge as an agent, while allowing for global reach.
The organization requires an agent’s proof of commitment to the business through regular sales reports and evidence of good financial standing. Applicants must also demonstrate ethical responsibilities.
Travel Institute Certifications
Earning a certification from the Travel Institute is a great way of showing clients that they are dealing with a professional travel agent who delivers value and excellent customer service. Earning a CTA, CTC or CTIE designation will give you the following benefits:
- Gets you ahead of the competition
- Advances your career
- Gain credibility from peers and client
- Increases job satisfaction
- Demonstrates a strong commitment to the profession
- Increased earning potential
The Certified Travel Counselor program teaches agency owners, managers and travel agents how to assess business opportunities, develop marketing techniques, negotiate and manage their business more efficiently. The program is specially designed for seasoned travel agents who want to advance their career.
The Certified Travel Industry Executive program is made for corporate travel professionals who want to take their career to the next level.
The Certified Travel Associate program teaches front-line travel agents about how to close travel deals, broaden their geography knowledge, enhance customer service skills and improve efficiency.
The Travel Introductory Program is geared toward individuals who are new to the industry and are interested in pursuing a travel career. The course is designed to provide people with a solid foundation on how to prepare for a travel related career.